Product Design and Innovation

BSc (Hons)

Discover limitless creativity with our Product Design and Innovation course, where research, technology, style, and interaction combine to shape a dynamic future.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)

H772

Start date

Course overview

Unleash your creativity with our accredited product design and innovation degree. Immerse yourself in this future-focused discipline, blending innovation and engineering expertise. Complete Individual and group projects and challenges, set by real companies, tutors and yourself. Cultivate practical problem-solving skills, tackle briefs in collaboration with diverse teams of engineers and designers, mimicking the typical working world with a wide range of technical and professional capabilities. Upon completion of this course you will be technically skilled, inspired, and at the forefront of design innovation.

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“My favourite part of the course has been bringing my ideas into reality, transforming any idea I have into a real, physical product. Another favourite part of the course was presentations, as they help to build up your confidence, and also you get to see everyone present and be really enthusiastic about the projects they’ve been working on.”

Marco Sousa Lau
Lead Designer Dyson

Why Product Design and Innovation at Aston University?

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Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold- the highest possible rating for Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Excellent graduate prospects
Manufacturing and Production Engineering ranked 1st in the UK for graduate prospects Complete University Guide 2024
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Accredited
Institution of Engineering Designers for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirements for Registered Product Designer (RProdDes).

Course description

BSc (Hons) Product Design and Innovation

To design successfully is to create something new, different and better. When you look at a product, do you sometimes think ‘I could have designed that better’? If you answered yes, would like to work in an innovative and enterprising sector and gain the skills necessary to create the future, this could be the course for you

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What we will provide
A wealth of opportunities are available to you on this course. We’ll ensure you benefit from strong industry connections through our industry club and gain real experience working on design challenges through Design Factory, a commercial enterprise offering design consulting services. We’ll provide you with membership to the Institute of Engineering Designers as well as access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks. All design students are welcome to work, create and collaborate in the Design Studio with 24/7 access to equipment, facilities, and materials that will bring your ideas to life.


We are an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry. To find out more, visit here.

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What you will provide 
As a student on our product design and innovation degree, you'll be required to think differently, reimagine solutions and empathise with the audiences you’ll be creating for. You must embrace challenges and have a willingness to grow through practice. Fuel your passion for innovation and emerge from your time with us as a visionary ready to shape the future.

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What skills we teach
On this course you will learn a variety of crucial technical skills such as Computer Aided Design, sketching, modelmaking, clay modelling and mechatronics. You will thrive with the tools needed to create fresh innovations. With a combination of hand and digital sketching, you will develop prototypes to test and evaluate your creations. You will evolve your model-making skills with 3D printing, foam, and clay. Whilst enhancing your ability to work in a team, communicate well, and critically think to solve technical challenges.

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Placement year
During your placement year, you will gain invaluable industry experience through our well-established links with companies and excellent Careers & Placements team. This practical exposure enhances your understanding of product design and will prepare you for a successful career in the field.

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Career prospects
Recent graduates of our course have progressed to enjoy excellent careers. Many have secured positions through their placement year, with notable companies like JLR, Seymour Powell, Dyson, and Mattel. Lots of our alumni have gone on to excel in diverse roles, including Creative Directors, while others advance into managerial and leadership positions with design at the core.

 

How you will learn

This degree adopts a dynamic teaching style with 100% coursework assessment. Focusing on studio, workshop and project-based learning, you will engage in theoretical, practical and applied exercises. Our community-based approach encourages collaboration in a design studio setting, whilst theory-based elements are covered through classic lectures, the focus remains on hands-on, experiential learning.

There is a plethora of extra-curricular activities to enrich your time with us at Aston University. You can participate in Engineering Without Borders, and contribute to the Formula Student team where you will compete at Silverstone. The Design Factory will offer summer internships and projects, while Design Live Challenges can provide paid opportunities to work on real company briefs. You may also like to join societies like WEST, CAD, and Engineering to enhance your networking. The Industry Club fosters industry connections. Finally, the Aston Inspire design show allows you to showcase your design-focused final-year projects.

Facilities

Our product design and innovation degree boasts world-leading facilities to support your creative pursuits. Our Design Studio provides a collaborative space for ideation and innovation. Equipped with state-of-the-art Wacom tablets, interactive sketching becomes seamless. The Model Shop offers 3D printing capabilities, laser cutting, and water jet cutting, enabling you to transform your designs into tangible prototypes. Additionally, our Maker Space brings the prototyping techniques together into a vibrant creative place. These cutting-edge facilities will empower you to bring your visions to life with precision and craftsmanship.
Your learning and support is always at the forefront of all we do whilst you can benefit from PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) which offers assistance from students in higher year groups to those in lower years. Our dedicated technicians provide excellent support for team projects and practical sessions. Personal tutors, including year tutors and program directors, ensure you have regular scheduled meetings throughout the year. Additionally, you will have access to wider university support services, ensuring your overall well-being and academic success.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


 

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC (any subject) including one STEM subject
    BCC including one STEM subject (with an EPQ or Core Maths* at grade B)
    CCC when including one STEM subject (contextual offer)

List of STEM subjects: Art or Design, Maths, Further Maths, Statistics, Physics, Design Technology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Computer Science, Biology, Electronics. 

*List of core maths qualifications we accept:  AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies, City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics, NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life, OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving, OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning, Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context, WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life and Level 3 Core Math.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma (any subject): DDM
  • Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction
  • National Diploma and Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering subject): DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B
  • Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction plus an A-Level in any subject grade C OR achieve overall grade Distinction plus a BTEC Sub Dip/ Extended National Cert in any subject at grade Merit
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering subject): DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (any subject): DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B including a science or technical subject
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering types): M plus 2 A-levels at minimum Grade B
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (any subject): M plus 2 A-levels at minimum Grade B including a science or technical subject.
  • Certificate/ National Certificate Level 3: Not accepted.
  • 29 overall points with 5, 5, 4 in Higher Level subjects including a science or technical subject at Level 5. 

Subject related Access (science or technical) with at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits at level 3.

Non-standard qualifications
Degree: 

Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a 1st year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
 
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme.

Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 65% overall and 120 credits  on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
 
Year 3: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3.

The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Development Grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
  • Onsite Construction Grade D
  • Digital Business Services Grade D
  • Digital Support Services Grade D
  • Health Grade D
  • Healthcare Science Grade D
  • Science Grade D
  • Design and Development for Engineering Manufacturing Grade D
  • Engineering Manufacturing Processing and Control Grade D
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering Manufacturing Grade D

Additionally to our Level 3 requirement, you will also need to have achieved:

GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and English Grade C/4 and above

Non-standard qualifications

Degree 

Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a 1st year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent Level 3) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference from your current institution.
 
Year 2 entry: Please note that second-year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space in that year of the programme.
Typically, applicants for second-year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content.

The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference from your current institution.
 
Year 3: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£21,100
During placement year:£2,500

Fees listed are for 2024 entry. For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies. For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 

Assessment

The way we assess you will be diverse, blending presentation, portfolio and prototype submissions. Assessing you through different practices will help gain an overall understanding of your knowledge.

Career prospects

Our graduate prospects for our product design, enterprise, and innovation students are vast and hugely exciting. Previous graduates have excelled at renowned companies such as Bentley Motors Concepts, Gas Data Limited, Fitch, Invizil, IBM, Samsung, Goodfish Ltd, DK, Elestial, and Gilroy. These roles span across design engineering, UX/UI design, product management, technical sales support, and digital design, reflecting the diverse and promising career prospects available for you.

Graduation

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Product Design, Enterprise and Innovation at Aston?

If you want to develop the skills and experience you need to build a successful career in product design, which combines a thorough understanding of engineering principles alongside practical project work, this could be the course for you.

How will a placement year benefit me?

We think that the knowledge you gain through your studies are best applied to real life and the most effective way to do this is by working in a company. As well as the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned, you’ll also gain invaluable communication and team skills. 

We have excellent links with industry and will help to arrange this placement for you. 

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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